So, you’ve set the strategy. The digital tools are set. Your company is ready to fully embrace flexible and remote working. What could possibly go wrong? Well, from experience, a lot can go wrong if the right modalities aren’t put in place. Take it from someone who’s done this for years.
I am Sofia, the Remote work Expert here at Jobylon and I wrote this guide for you to help you come to the grips on how to navigate in a hybrid model. The kind of guide I wish I read around 3 years ago when we first became a remote team. If you want to skip the errors and dive straight into seamless work and collaboration, regardless of where your team is based. Then this guide is for you!
1. Make sure there’s a plan B for technical issues
The pain of having your computer crash on the other side of the world just isn’t worth it, trust me. I’m currently writing this post with pen and paper. Preparation is everything to avoid eventual technical challenges. Especially if your workers are based in remote areas. It’s not fun to be stuck in an excluded town somewhere with no guarantee of access to a computer store. Consider the idea of facing the worst case scenario and plan how your team will deal with it.
For example, what would you do if the computer stops working or your wifi fails? Nothing is fully controllable or foreseeable. Things happen beyond our control. So, with that in mind. How can we prepare for such incidence in the best possible way? One of the best approaches is making sure everything is fully functioning before relocating and making sure that there’s a backup in case something happens (even if it means a little extra weight in their luggage). It’s always worth fixing any technical issues beforehand regardless of how unserious it is.
2. Include remoters in all conversations
Working from anywhere usually means that you’ve got people all over the place – some of them at the office and others at various locations around the world. Having this set up naturally means that people outside the office will miss some daily water cooler convos. And, these casual convos as we all know can easily turn into new initiatives or decision-making. Which is great in and of itself but running a remote team means that you have to master asynchronous communication too and ensure that the people working remotely also get the opportunity to be a part of it.
Else you will face the risk of having your remote team feeling unincluded and unproductive. This could easily be fixed by creating remote water coolers to catch ideas and spark some creative conversations from afar. Establishing weekly’s hangouts for those who aren’t based at the office is a great way to give the people working remotely a chance to catch up and take an active part in the growth of the department and company at large. Overall, always make sure that everyone is up to date with the latest and give everyone the opportunity to voice their opinions and be more proactive in decision making.
3. Untangle and be clear about your digital communication
The classical “ok”. The vaguest of the vaguest answers. We’ve all received it. I call it, the dad answers. In order to communicate smoothly and lessen eventual negative interpretations, your team needs to be clear on everyone’s preferred way of giving and receiving feedback. People sometimes tend to think the worst, especially in a digital environment where the communication solely relies on words. Therefore, your communication needs to be clear and to the point. If you’re not familiar with each other’s communication styles, a “ok” could make someone feel a type of way.
The key to seamless remote work remains the same: transparency and communication. To have a transparent conversation about digital communication, it might seem like a waste of time, however once you are sure of how a team members prefer their feedback, you’ll be saving a ton of energy, and not to mention time and you’ll strengthen your team dynamic like never before.